Predictors of Physical Activity in Nontraditional-Age College Students

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 2 (Convention Center)
Ka Man Leung1, Lynda Ransdell2, Yong Gao3, Jane Shimon3 and Shelley Lucas3, (1)Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, (2)Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, (3)Boise State University, Boise, ID

Background/Purpose: Physical activity (PA) declines as an individual transitions from high school to college. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine predictors of PA among non-traditional aged college students using 2011 National College Health Assessment (NCHA) data.

Method: A total of 949 students (mean age = 26.52, SD = 8.95) completed an online NCHA survey in the Fall of 2011. A subset of demographic, personal, sociocultural, and environmental items was examined in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to identify significant predictors of recommended levels of moderate to vigorous (MVPA) and strength exercise (SE) participation.

Analysis/Results: About 43% of students in this sample were either overweight or obese and 68% did not meet MVPA or SE recommendations. Current health status [ β=.82 (MVPA), β=.95(SE)] and knowledge about PA [β =.43 (MVPA), β = .52 (SE)] were significant predictors of recommended MVPA and SE participation (p <.05). Interest in receiving information about PA (β = .33), perceived safety (β = .20), overall stress (β = -.19), male gender (β = .67), and younger age (β= -.04) explained additional variance in whether students met the SE recommendation (p <.05). Students who lived on-campus (β = -.64) or were healthy weight or underweight (β = -.39) were more likely to meet the MVPA recommendation than those who lived off-campus or were overweight or obese (p <.01).

Conclusions: Findings have implications for increasing PA in this sample. A required course on active lifestyles is recommended for non-traditional students.

  • AAHPERD_2013_predictors of PA in non-traditional aged college students_CLII_Final.pdf (168.9 kB)